KUALA LUMPUR: Men’s singles head coach Misbun Sidek (pic) has only praises for Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin on his commitment in badminton.
Since Misbun took charge in August last year, Iskandar’s form has improved and his world ranking has leapt from 111 to 50th.
Misbun said based on his training report, Iskandar passed with flying colours.
“I’ll be the first one to drop Iskandar if I find him giving sub-standard performance in training.”
“I’ve seen him improve since coming back from his back injury. He shows determination in training and he has lived up to my expectations,” he said.
Misbun said he was not shocked with the news of Iskandar being reprimanded for smoking during the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok, Thailand, last month.
“I’m aware of it and we’ve advised him. He is taking steps to kick the habit. It’s in Iskandar’s hands and I hope he’ll make good choices for his future,” said Misbun.
“But as far as training is concerned, I’ve complete faith in him and I believe we still have not seen the best from him.”
Misbun said he treated all his players equally – and would not tolerate indiscipline.
“I don’t see whether they are Chinese, Malay or Indian, to me, they are all my children. I’m like their father. I’ll discipline them if I need to and encourage them when I have to,” said Misbun.
“All I ask from them is to show full commitment in training.”
This week, Misbun has asked one of his promising players Leong Jun Hao to leave the training session after giving half-hearted performance in training.
The 18-year-old Jun Hao was the youngest player selected to represent Malaysia at the Thomas Cup Finals but Misbun has been unhappy with his focus since returning from Bangkok.
“He has been distracted. He complained of exhaustion. He continued to suffer nose bleed during training. I’ve asked him to look into it,” said Misbun.
“I can’t have a player giving a half-hearted show in training. He has to get himself treated if he is not well. I’ve informed his father, it’s risky to have a sick player.
“I’ve asked him to return when he is in good shape, so that he can give unwavering focus in training,” he added.